Replete with Cape Fear history and lore, Shark’s Tooth Island (also known as Shark Tooth Island) is a day not to be forgotten. Nestled near the mouth of the Cape Fear River in NC, Shark’s Tooth is actually a string of islands created by the dredging long ago (late 1800s) that facilitated huge barges and other large maritime vessels navigating the waters upstream successfully, and safely. Since then time has done an artful job of establishing a lush interior of trees and island flora, but with each passing tide, treasure is left for those wanting to venture on the serendipidous hunt for a never ending supply of fossils and artifacts that bubbled from beneath the ancient rivers’ floor of sand and limestone (dating back approximately 30 – 40 million years ago).
Not overrun by tourism by any stretch, the islands are fortunately easily accessible by a quick boat or kayak over. This makes for incredible deserted island day trips for those interested in archaeology, marine biology, civil war history, fossil finding, and just playing around in the sand while enjoying a private time in the area splendor.
So, just what can be found exactly? Well, everything from Native American, civil war, and colonial era artifacts to megalodon teeth (yes, the giant, prehistoric chompers of the 40 footers, now long gone). And while these finds are few and far between, it is a rare day when sharks teeth in general are not collected by the average hunter. They abound in these sandy shores and range in all sizes, from teeny tiny to serrated and sizable.
And if you get tired of treasure hunting at any point, but your group isn’t, you can soak up plenty of sun on the beach or search the interior sections for a change of pace. While the islands’ coastline is a hodgepodge of never ending driftwood and spanish moss, they also harbor a variety of geo sections from sandy to rocky to soil to satisfy your inner explorer.
All you have to do it make the time and get there. It can all be enjoyed from a a few hours to a full day. You can get there on your own or employ one of a couple of the area’s reputable tour services. There are a couple of local outfitting companies available for further directions, parking, boating recommendations, shark tooth island kayak rentals, supplies, digging tips, where tos, how tos, and other miscellaneous info to get you digging in no time.